Hater by David Moody
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I feel compelled to share the blurb for this book first, so here it is:
REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL
Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened ‘Haters’ by the media, the attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers.
There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, then hundreds of thousands. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim – or a Hater. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them with ultra violent intent.
Waking up each morning, no matter how well defended, everyone must now consider the fact that by the end of the day, they might be dead. Or perhaps worse, become a killer themselves.
As the status quo shifts, ATTACK FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER becomes the order of the day… only, the answers might be much different than what you expect….
In the tradition of H. G. Wells and Richard Matheson, Hater is one man’s story of his place in a world gone mad— a world infected with fear, violence, and HATE.
Hater is the type of book one picks up and starts reading and before the person realises what’s happened several hours have passed. The writing style is simple, in every sense of the word, yet I believe that makes the reading of the book so much better as it’s not possible to get bogged down or distracted.
The opening scene caught my attention and I was “in”. There was no turning back. I had no choice but to go along for the ride. In fact, even if I did have a choice I would have gone along anyway.
The main character was real. Totally convincing. In fact, he could have been me if he was a woman. I totally related to his situation and circumstances because over the years I’ve experienced them first hand (except for witnessing the killings and violence, of course). And I believe many of us will relate to him because a lot of us have had mundane jobs, a home life that isn’t perfect, money worries that take the joy out of everything and the feeling that everyone else is doing so much better than us (all the time!), even if they’re not.
Swept into this man’s life and witnessing how he interacts with his family, who he loves dearly even if they are annoying at times, and how he controls himself at work with people who treat him indifferently or with distain, gives us insight into our own lives. It cemented in me how I have learned to mask my feelings and opinions, how I only show the world the “acceptable” parts of myself and hide the parts of me that may cause conflict, hurt or other problems.
Then, as the violence increases around him, we feel his fear increase also. We understand his need to protect his family, at all costs. As he asks himself what he’s willing to do and what he’s capable of doing, to keep his wife and children safe, I found myself wondering what I would do if I found myself in the same situation. Would I kill someone if they attempted to kill one of my family members first?
Kill or be killed. It’s a matter of survival!
I’ll leave you to find out what happens to the main character and his family because if I go any further I’ll give something away, which will only spoil it for those interested in reading the book.
I found Hater to be captivating and fast paced. It’s not a long book, but I read it especially fast considering I’m a slow reader. The fact that I identified with the main character made the story more enjoyable, which is a strange word to use when talking about violence and death. However, as a published work I did enjoy the book. It spoke to me. It made me think.
My only negative comment is in relation to why the situation in the story occurred. The author gave a vague reason. I’m not sure if there’s a reason for that or not. I suspect that as this is the first book in a trilogy then the reason will become clear by the end of the third book, and I can accept that.
Some people are calling this a zombie-ish book and I must agree with that. However, there are no undead to contend with. Both “sides” are living human beings. Finally, I can’t help wondering what “side” I would be on.
Am I a Hater? Are you?